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Brand & Generic Names


Basic Information

  • Habit forming? No
  • Prescription needed? Yes
  • Available as generic? No
  • Drug class: Antimigraine


  • Treatment for acute migraine headaches not relieved by other medications (aspirin, acetaminophen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Does not prevent migraines.
  • Treatment for cluster headaches.

Dosage & Usage Information

How to take:
Injection (self-administered)--Inject under the skin (subcutaneous) of the outer thigh or outer upper arm. Follow your doctor's instructions and written package instructions for proper injection technique and method for disposal of the cartridges.
Tablets--Swallow whole with liquid. Do not crush, break or chew tablet.

When to take:
At the first sign of a migraine (aura or pain). After you administer, lie down in a quiet, dark room to increase effectiveness of drug.
An additional dose may be helpful if the migraine returns. Do not exceed the prescribed quantity or frequency. Do not use additional dose if first dose does not bring substantial relief.
For cluster headache, follow doctor's directions.

If you forget a dose:
Sumatriptan is not taken on a routine schedule. It can be taken any time during the course of a migraine.

What drug does:
Helps relieve headache pain and associated symptoms of migraine (nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound). It helps constrict dilated blood vessels that may contribute to development of migraines.

Time lapse before drug works:
Oral dose (tablet)--within 30 minutes.
Injection--usually within 10 minutes for headache pain and within 20 minutes for associated nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound.

Don't take with:
Ergotamine-containing medicines. Delay 24 hours.
Any other medication without consulting your doctor or pharmacist.


Convulsions, tremor, swelling of arms and legs, breathing difficulty, chest pain, paralysis; skin and hair loss, scab formation at injection site.


  • Dial 911 (emergency) or 0 (operator) for an ambulance or medical help. Then give first aid immediately.
  • See EMERGENCY information.

Possible Adverse Reactions or Side Effects


    In case of overdose, see previous section.


    Burning, pain, or redness at injection site; nausea or vomiting (may be from migraine or from drug).


    Sensation of burning, warmth, numbness, cold or tingling; discomfort of jaw, mouth, throat, nose or sinuses; dizzi- ness; drowsiness; flushing; lightheadedness; muscle aches, cramps, stiffness or weakness; anxiety; tiredness; vision changes, general feeling of illness.


    Pain, pressure or tightness in the chest; difficulty swallowing.

Warnings & Precautions

Don't take if:

  • You are allergic to sumatriptan.
  • You have angina pectoris, a history of myocardial infarction or myocardial ischemia, Prinzmetal's angina, uncontrolled hypertension (high blood pressure).

Before you start, consult your doctor:

  • If you have heart rhythm problems or coronary artery disease.
  • If you have had a cerebrovascular accident (stroke).
  • If you have liver or kidney disease.
  • If you have controlled hypertension (high blood pressure).

Over age 60:
No problems expected.

Studies inconclusive on danger to unborn child. Check with your doctor whether drug benefits justify risk to unborn child.

Unknown effects. Decide with your doctor whether drug benefits justify possible risk.

Infants & children:
Not recommended for patients under age 18.

Prolonged use:
Long-term effects unknown. As a precaution, do not use sumatriptan more often than every 5-7 days or as directed by your doctor.

Skin & sunlight:
No problems expected. Sensitivity to light is a symptom of migraine and is not drug-related.

Driving, piloting or hazardous work:
Avoid if you feel drowsy or dizzy. Otherwise no problems expected.

No problems expected. Talk to your doctor if you have plans to discontinue use of drug.


  • Advise any doctor or dentist whom you consult that you take this medicine.
  • May affect results in some medical tests (rare).
  • Follow your doctor's recommendation of any additional treatment for prevention of migraines.

Possible Interaction with Other Drugs

------------------------- -----------------------
Antidepressants* Adverse effects unknown. Avoid.
Ergotamine Increased vasoconstriction. Delay 24
hours between drugs.
Furazolidone Adverse effects unknown. Avoid.
Lithium Adverse effects unknown. Avoid.
MAO Inhibitors* Adverse effects unknown. Avoid.
Procarbazine Adverse effects unknown. Avoid.
Selegiline Adverse effects unknown. Avoid.

Possible Interaction with Other Substances

--------------- ---------------
Alcohol: No interaction known, but alcohol
aggravates migraines. Avoid.
Beverages: None expected.
Cocaine: None expected.
Foods: None expected.
Marijuana: None expected.
Tobacco: None expected.

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